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RANGELY I “Sometimes you run into a freight train,” Rangely boys’ basketball coach Eric Hejl said. The freight train Hejl was referring to was the Denver Lutheran boys’ basketball team that ended Rangely’s season last Friday with a 90-35 win in the Region 4 basketball tournament. Denver Lutheran went on to beat Wray in the championship game to qualify for the state tournament this weekend in Pueblo.
By bobby email@example.comRANGELY I “Sometimes you run into a freight train,” Rangely boys’ basketball coach Eric Hejl said. The freight train Hejl was referring to was the Denver Lutheran boys’ basketball team that ended Rangely’s season last Friday with a 90-35 win in the Region 4 basketball tournament. Denver Lutheran went on to beat Wray in the championship game to qualify for the state tournament this weekend in Pueblo.The Denver Lutheran Lights took control of the game early leading 25-9 after the first quarter.“I knew the (Joel) Haywood kid was a really good player but they were a balanced and deep team,” Hejl said. “We decided to play them straight up but their depth still hurt us. We could have done a better job of contesting shots but those guys were hitting almost everything they shot.”The Lights hit 12 3-pointers in the game, including five in the first quarter.“We’re young and were definitely battling some nerves early but I was hoping we could force them into some missed shots and turnovers to keep it close in the first half but that didn’t happen,” Hejl said.The Panthers trailed 20-41 at halftime and only scored four points in the third quarter compared to Denver Lutheran’s 28. Rangely was outscored 11-21 in the final quarter.Caleb Templeton finished the game with 11 and Connor Phelan scored five. Denny brothers Kacey and Kody, along with sophomore Jake Massey, each added four points, while freshmen William Scoggins, Cameron Enterline and sophomore Gabe Garcia each made a basket and freshman Andrew Morton made a free throw to round out the Panther scoring.“I told the guys afterward that even though things didn’t go how we wanted, the experience was invaluable,” Hejl said. “It means the next time we get here, we’ll have a much better idea of what to expect from an emotional and mental standpoint. From the beginning of the year, we’ve been working on becoming a team rather than just a group of guys and I think we’ve made huge strides in achieving that goal.”The Panthers will graduate two varsity players, Kacey Denny and Caleb Templeton, who moved to Rangely at the beginning of this year.“We were blessed to have Caleb come in and provide some stability at the top and carry a lot of the load, while the young guys took time to develop,” Hejl said. “Kacey was also a big contributor, especially on the offensive end. We’ll miss both of those guys for sure but it’s been encouraging to see these young guys start to come into their own and see the potential that is there. I’m already excited for summer ball.”